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Sister backs summaries WARD manager Sister Hilary.

WARD manager Sister Hilary Whiles today declared Summary Care Records (SCRs) a big boost to patient care.

Sister Whiles oversaw the introduction of the emergency care summaries on the ward she manages at The James Cook University Hospital - the male assessment unit, which sees up to 60 patients admitted every 24 hours.

SCRs are electronic records which give healthcare staff faster and easier access to key pieces of health information to support safe and effective treatment.

Designed as emergency care summaries, SCRs carry basic details of a patient's current and recent medications, any allergies they have as well as any poor reactions to specific medicines they may have had in the past.

After nearly a year of using the new electronic records, Sister Whiles says: "SCR has instantly improved patient care. Patients do not have to wait 3,4 or up to 24 hours to get their medications while we communicate with their GP practices to confirm the medicines and the doses.

"If a patient has an SCR and consents to us using it, then we and the pharmacist on the ward can see their medications list immediately and take the appropriate action. "It's freed up time that we would have spent on the phone to GP practices and that has given us more time to spend with patients. "It's been most valuable out of hours, especially at weekends, when practices aren't usually available for us to check information." SCRs are now used on two assessment wards and the acute stroke ward at The James Cook University Hospital.

They were launched following a 14-month project to inform patients across Teesside of SCRs and their rights to opt out of the initiative if they chose.

Since then Tees Primary Care Trusts have worked with GPs in Middlesbrough and the rest of Teesside to create the SCRs from the electronic notes of patients who want them.

Currently, 44% of patients in Middlesbrough have SCRs and 48% of GP practices are yet to join the initiative.

Sister Whiles says: "We'll never rely solely on SCRs to make treatment decisions but it is a very useful tool. Using it, we can treat patients more quickly, they respond more quickly and they improve quicker. "We would like more patients to join the SCR initiative because we know more patients could benefit if they have an SCR.

"We've experienced at first hand the benefits that SCR brings and so we are keen to have more GP come on board so the benefits can be extended to their patients too."

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Sister Hilary Whiles, who is backing the new electronic summary care records
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Mar 28, 2012
Words:437
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